Help: Small kitchen remodel - Granite/Oak

homebodyoasisJuly 6, 2014

Hi there,

Our kitchen is on the smaller size (10x10) and I am currently thinking of trying to work with our current oak cabinets, but if painting them could really be an improvement I would consider it... Otherwise, I am completely flexible - we want granite and tile/stone flooring. I was also thinking of trying to work around the wall tile, but I'm also flexible if changing it could really make a difference.

I would love your suggestions on how to really bring a wow factor to our remodel.. We will be replacing our appliances with SS and the rest of our home is transitional if that helps.

Thanks in advance!


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additional pic

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:16PM
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Hi Kim. Is your floor hardwood? It looks nice. Are you sure you want to replace it with tile or stone?

I have a 10x10 ft. kitchen too. It was golden oak (circa 1991) and I replaced my doors and drawer fronts and had it painted white. If you're considering painting, it can make a huge difference. Your cabinets look like they're in good shape, and just adding some nice hardware will spruce them up quite a bit.

Hopefully others will weigh in with ideas. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 12:19AM
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that's about the size of my kit also. it depends on how much you want to do and spend.
do you want to remove the soffit? can it be done? or is it hiding plumbing etc
if you don't have too many cabs and have the $s, you might just want to replace them. maybe custom (local) to get the most space usage. If what is showing is all you have, that isn't much storage space.

if you can get new cabs, maybe get doors/drawer fronts from Barkers and paint the trim areas to match. I'm always for the less work - if I have to do it! that's why I probably won't change out my cabs - lol!

I agree on your floor - looks very nice. Tile is hard on the feet, legs and back.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 4:42AM
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I recently finished and update to my kitchen and kept my oak cabinets but did not paint them. Though it turned out nicely it was a very difficult project and I totally under estimated the cost, stress and time and it would take. I really do love it but could have gotten away with just painting, replacing the appliances and getting a new floor as the 20+ year old vinyl flooring was wearing out. (My old kitchen was not as nice as your kitchen looks in your pics.)

We are close to retirement and don't do the DIY much and just finding people to do quality work is stressful and the labor costs really add to the budget.

Your kitchen is very nice especially the wood flooring. We all look as these gorgeous new kitchens and would like to have them but blending old and new is hard and I think sometimes easier to start from scratch. You don't have a lot of cabinets and it would be easier to change out your backsplash which can really be the wow factor you are looking for if you could put new cabinets in your budget.

This may not be the advice you want or expect, but I suggest to just change it up by redecorating with some color by changing out the paint color, window valance, accessories, throw rug etc. and wait until your budget allows for new cabinets and do a complete remodel with granite or whatever counter tops you choose, new backsplash and tile floor.
Getting new appliances now will save on the budget when to do a complete remodel.

Have you thought about vinyl tiles? They look great, not as cold and hard and lots of new patterns out there but again your floor is very nice.

This post was edited by tinker1121 on Mon, Jul 7, 14 at 6:10

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:01AM
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Have you thought about moving the refrigerator to where the corner cabinets are and using some of those cabinets to fill in where the refrigerator is? That would sure open up your work area around the sink and make the kitchen feel a lot bigger.

Also, I would get rid of the soffits/ bulkheads if at all possible. I removed them from my small kitchen years ago & that made a huge difference in how the room felt.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 6:35AM
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Check Linelle's remodel. I would do what she did! I wouldn't replace the hardwood, but if you really want tile, that is a personal choice.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Can you provide a to-scale floor plan of your kitchen, marking doorways, windows, existing cabs and appliances?

I just (nearly) finished a facelift on my own small kitchen. Added and painted cabs, new countertops. HUGE difference.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:08AM
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The "wow" factor for me is a kitchen that does what a kitchen is supposed to do--give the cook ample prep space, storage, and appliances that makes the work easier. You can focus on the cosmetic stuff, but once you add granite, this layout is "set in stone" for many years to come.

Ci_lantro's idea is one I would explore further if you want to go ahead with your plan to add granite. There doesn't seem to be a use for that corner countertop. Or I might see about putting in a pantry in place of those cabinets.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Concentrate on making the space more functional before doing anything else. There is room for improvement. That corner could house the refrigerator and a pull out pantry. Not sure what the rest of the kitchen's layout is, but making the space work harder would be tops on my list before doing anything cosmetic that didn't address those needs.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 12:51PM
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Well, what does your budget allow you to do? That determines a lot. If you are keeping the cabinets (they do appear to be in good shape) then you have to try to work around them. I'd say, get rid of the counters and backsplash for starters. If you must have granite, then choose one that works with your cabinets. After that's in, pick a backsplash that ties it all together. Check out tinker1121's country kitchen remodel, which is an amazing example of how to bring an oak kitchen up to date.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Is the layout a good one? If not, can it be improved without selling your children?

Are the cabinets in good shape - drawers and doors and boxes - and are they level and sturdy enough to hold up the granite you want.

If not, you would be better off spending very little and saving up to get a good layout with new cabinets.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Do you want to change the cabinet color?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:00PM
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Hi all, thanks so much for your input so far. My husband wants to keep the oak as the cabinets are in great shape and are solid wood. He also wants to keep the layout and I'm ok with it as well as it's just the two of us.

I am stumped on what color granite and backsplash. We will be redoing the floor to break up the granite, plus the floating flooring is in dire need of being replaced.

I don't like baltic brown and have a sample of giallo napoleon (thinking it might not be enough contrast?) and giallo vicenzo (it's ok). Do you have any suggestions on other colors I should consider? What about backsplash?

I've included more pics of our dining room/living room and the kitchen again.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:38PM
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Dining room/living room

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:40PM
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I would do absolute black granite - honed. However, not this backsplash.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:51PM
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Seems as if you have your heart set on an update so thought these pictures could help.
These are our 20 year old KraftMaid oak cabinets with Absolute Cream Granite and Jeffrey Court beveled subway tile in the color Antique Lace.
I looked at a lot of granite and wanted something a bit different than a speckled pattern. This was about the only one in a mid range price that went with the oak. I love it more each day! Hard to see tiny flecks of copper in it, a creamy background and greenish gray large and small pieces of quartz. It kind of looks like stone under glass in certain spots. I almost went with black and after someone here suggested laying out large black trash bags on the counter, it was obvious that would be too dark in our 10 x 14 space that has only one window.
Forgive the multiple posts as do not know how to post more than one picture.
Close up of granite

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:41PM
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Tile and oak cabinets:

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:42PM
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Stove side of kitchen:

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Sink side of kitchen. We have a oak wainscot so a ton of oak going on. Hardware color is statutory bronze which looks great with the oak and blends nicely.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:49PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

We inherited oak cabinets when we bought this house. They made me shudder, they were so filthy.

If the filth is yours, it's a lot easier to handle, trust me!

We kept the original tile floor, but we got all new cabinets with all the bells and whistles, new SS appliances, and a beautiful porcelain tile countertop. We nixed granite due to prior experience with the horrible streaking upkeep of it. The huge porcelain tiles are amazing, and my maid service loves them! Easy clean! I'm kinda lazy, and I guess they are too!

I'd post photos, but I'm in the process of naming all our remodel photos for a pinterest page on the entire house remodel. Our countertop and cabinet choice is attached.

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:53PM
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For our remodel, we pulled out the black granite and installed Typhoon Bordeaux. Kept existing cabinets, island and layout because they all worked well for DH and me. Replaced sink and faucet. Kept tile floor. We'll replace appliances with SS as they die.

We just got very weary of the black over time. This split screen shows the old granite next to a snapshot from one of the TB slabs. That's the fabricator rep working on templating.

Hopefully next week our backsplash will get installed. Crema Marfil marble 2x4 polished and beveled brick mosaic tile.

We are extremely happy with all the decisions we made......with the invaluable input from the GW community!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:30PM
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mdln - Is the photo of your kitchen? If so, is the flooring red oak?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 10:48PM
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Phone lady, your cabinets are beautiful and the new granite will really make a statement. I was going to mention that Typhoon Bordeaux would be so nice with Kim's cabinets. It ran a close second when I was shopping for granite and one I kept going back to.
Can't wait to see both of these kitchens!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:52AM
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homebodyoasis, solid wood cabs are a nice thing to have. But did you know that you would gain more storage per cab with new cabs? I am replacing my 20 yr old oak cabs and I'm tickled at how much storage space I'm gaining with the same footprint; 3" more depth and width per drawer! In a small space, that would be value added.

I'd rather do that and have laminate counters any day. But those are my priorities. I was all set to do a cosmetic update about 5 years ago but once I started looking at my kitchen with a critical eye, I decided to wait until we could afford to replace the cabs. Soooo glad I did. I can not wait to start my remodel. It will be worth the wait. (Our wait wasn't just for f1nancial reasons. We had family obligations arise during that time period and they took precedence.)

Good luck with your remodel!

Have you done a search for oak cabinets threads on this forum? Updating "golden" oak kitchens has been discussed multiple times so you're sure to find information you can use. Do a search via Google not the forum's search engine (it's rather useless).

This post was edited by lisa_a on Mon, Jul 28, 14 at 16:47

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Thanks tinker1121. The TB has been in for 2 months and we love it more than we could have imagined. Can't wait for that bs to be done. Tired of looking at the white streak where the old 6" black granite backsplash once lived.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:53PM
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tinker1121, your kitchen is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

PhoneLady, I will check out the TB, thanks. :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:54AM
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We have similar kitchens!! We even both have the dreaded soffit (sorry, I HATE mine). Anyway, I wanted to get away from my orangy oak cabinets so I painted mine a light grayish color. I love the outcome but it was a lot of work. The entire remodel took abut 4 months. I bought new ORB hardware off ebay and got rid of all the brass. My husband installed the backsplash and I found my granite at a local stone yard. It's a busy granite (I was hoping to pull away from the cabinets so I chose a busier granite) - then I chose a simple backsplash because I didn't want anything to clash. Just recently I tore out the oak floors in my foyer and put down about 900 sq ft of darker hardwood floor. It looks beautiful in the kitchen.

I do NOT like my oak so I painted them. I do not regret it one bit. I think your cabinets would look great painted and add some hardware. New appliances and countertops will also help out a lot!! Good luck and share some pics if you make any changes!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:54PM
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You would be surprised, I think, at how much better your kitchen would feel if you move the frig to the other corner as suggested. The current location makes the space feel so crowded! Since you want to replace the flooring this would be a good time to do that -- and maybe you could re-use the drawer stack in the frig space.

I like a dark counter with oak, but not absolute black. I don't like Baltic Brown either, but there is another dark brown that is gorgeous -- Antique Brown. That might work.

We don't know what you like in a granite (speckled, flow-y, quiet, light, dark) so it is hard to make suggestions.

If you are not going to refinish or paint the oak, I would stay away from yellows and golds.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:15PM
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